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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2017) . . Page.. 2878 ..

ACT Education and Access Canberra are developing a program for reviewing school buildings to evaluate the potential of ACP materials and compliance requirements. The Australian government is a major building owner and tenant within Canberra. At the last building ministers forum I raised with the commonwealth minister the large number of buildings owned or tenanted by the commonwealth government, and I understand the commonwealth have also begun an audit of their assets, including those in the ACT. The ACT government will continue to work with our counterparts in other jurisdictions and on a national level in relation to the issue. This matter was discussed at the most recent meeting of building ministers, and I am sure the matter will continue to be discussed as jurisdictions undertake audit and risk assessments.

The ACT government is working with industry to encourage industry to review privately owned buildings in the ACT. Investigations will need to run their full course and building products will need to be tested before any certainty of risk can be known. The ACT government has also undertaken significant reforms over the past five years to improve the quality and compliance of any new buildings, including residential buildings. Initiatives include a new auditing and inspection system, new education and training courses on the ACT building and certification systems, and increased penalties for noncompliance.

I reiterate that the ACT government is committed to investigating the use of aluminium composite panels in Canberra, and I want to reassure members and the community that the situation in Canberra is very different to that which we saw with the Grenfell Tower fire. Canberra has much more stringent fire safety codes, with modern high-rise buildings being fully fitted out with sprinkler systems. I present the following paper:

Aluminium Cladding Working Group—Update—Ministerial statement, 17 August 2017.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.39): I thank Minister Gentleman for tabling the update on the working group. It answers a few of the questions I sent to Minister Gentleman on 12 July. Whilst he provided a response on 21 July, over half of the questions I sent to him on 12 July were unanswered. It is quite difficult to understand some of what appear to me to be inconsistencies in the report Mr Gentleman has just given us. He said:

In Canberra we have been actively monitoring the use of aluminium cladding for over a decade.

He also said that:

Since 2009 the ACT government has been working on specific measures to address the fire safety risks associated with external wall cladding.

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